Mary Pete, recently appointed to the U.S. Arctic Research Commission to represent indigenous perspectives and to focus on anthropology, subsistence, and education; testified at a Senate field hearing on the implications for federal resources and local communities of a changing Arctic in Barrow on August 29, 2010. MORE >>
Local residents and biologists were startled by the sighting of a polar bear near the village of Emmonak at the mouth of the Yukon River. There have been other sightings of polar bears on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta this summer compared to only a few that have been seen this far south every three to five years MORE >>
In its recent ocean news update, SeaWeb summarized several articles from the June 18, 2010, issue of Science related to the effects of ocean warming.
Absorption of carbon dioxide and heat - the scale and pace of change in chemical and physical conditions have set in motion a wide range of biological responses, including:
**Changes in the distribution, abundance, and productivity of phytoplankton communities
**Acidification and stratification of the ocean
**Decrease in annual productivity by at least six percent since the early 1980s with nearly 70 percent of this decline occurring in the polar and subpolar regions
**Rising temperatures in polar regions are reducing ice thickness and extent, removing habitat for species from polar bears to penguins and fundamentally altering marine ecosystems.
**Warming waters are prompting a poleward shift in the distribution of a number of species, resulting in an increase in the number of invasive or exotic species, including pathogens. (Hoegh-Guldberg and Bruno)
**Ocean pH is lower now than it has been in 20 million years. (Kerr)
**The rate of ocean pH is unprecedented, a factor of 30 to 100 times faster than changes in the recent geological past, and perturbations will last many centuries to millennia. (Doney)
**Some marine species may benefit from higher CO2 levels such as phytoplankton, seagrass, and seaweed species that increase their rate of photosynthesis. (Doney) MORE >>